Varsity Letter: What to watch for in 2018

Happy New Year! 2018 looks to be a fantastic year for sports fans, with the Winter Olympics coming up in February and interesting storylines across the major sports leagues. The upcoming calendar year also promises a ton of excitement and success for Patriot athletes, from the field to the court to the track. It’s tantalizing to think that at this time next year, the burning questions we have now will be answered. These are the five that you should keep an eye on in 2018.

Administration: Will the school renovation plans be scrapped?
This question, one the whole school is asking, has great ramifications for our sports teams. In the fall, MCPS announced that it would postpone our school’s renovation indefinitely, a decision that was met with disapproval from the SGA. If the renovation is put back on the schedule by the Board of Education, it would literally change the athletic landscape in future years, but at this point a reversal of that decision is a long shot.

Boys’ Tennis: Will Joseph Brailovsky win a third state tennis title?
With a win in Maryland’s state championships, senior Joseph Brailovsky will become the first boy from this school to win three individual state titles. His competition will be stiff, with last year’s title game opponent, Pikeville’s Jake Fishkin, who is now a senior and could face Brailovsky again at the end of this season. In-county rival Evan McDonald from Whitman also stands in Brailovsky’s way.

Outdoor Track and Field: Will Mikhail Brown and Keith Cartwright reach new heights?
Last school year, sophomores Mikhail Brown (6’4” high jump) and Keith Cartwright (21’4.75” long jump) rewrote the school record books in their respective jumping events. Though they’ve set the bars high, both have a strong shot at taking down their records in the outdoor track season. Their opponents should take note too, as Brown and Cartwright will be in contention for state titles.

Cross Country: Will the cross country girls’ team win its first state title?
Fast forward to the fall, when the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams have chances to rake in serious hardware. The girls return six of their seven varsity runners and have placed second and third in the state the past two seasons. With perennial power Walter Johnson graduating most of their varsity runners, the girls are poised to win the school’s first-ever county and state titles. The boys could impress as well as they aim to build off a second-place performance in last year’s county meet and return five varsity runners.

Football: Will the football team nab an elusive playoff berth?
Despite an impressive 6-4 record in 2017, the football team finished short of the playoffs by a single game. The Patriots are aiming to take one more step this season and make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, but they will have to do so without graduated quarterback Grant Saylor and receiver/defensive back Elijah Trent. Much of the team’s success, and ultimately playoff hopes, will depend on how the varsity newcomers adapt to the bright lights.

 

John Riker

Online Editor

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